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Botswana

Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. More than four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the most stable economies in Africa.

Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining, dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due to the country’s conservation practices and extensive nature preserves.

Botswana has one of the world’s highest known rates of HIV/AIDS infection, but also one of Africa’s most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.

Botswana’s diamond dependent economy has maintained one of the world’s highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966. However, economic growth was negative in 2009, with the industrial sector shrinking by 30%, after the global crisis reduced demand for Botswana’s diamonds.

Although the economy recovered in 2010-12, GDP growth slowed in 2012-14. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $16,600 in 2014. Two major investment services rank Botswana as the best credit risk in Africa. Diamond mining has fueled much of the expansion and currently accounts for more than one-third of GDP, 70-80% of export earnings, and about one-third of the government’s revenues. Botswana’s heavy reliance on a single luxury export was a critical factor in the sharp economic contraction of 2009. Tourism, financial services, subsistence farming, and cattle raising are other key sectors.

According to official government statistics, unemployment reached 17.8% in 2009, but unofficial estimates run much higher. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is second highest in the world and threatens Botswana’s impressive economic gains. An expected leveling off in diamond production within the next 10-15 years overshadows long-term prospects. A major international diamond company signed a 10-year deal with Botswana in 2012 to move its rough stone sorting and trading division from London to Gaborone by the end of 2013. The move has supported the development of Botswana’s nascent downstream diamond industry.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$33.62 billion (2014 est.)
$32.22 billion (2013 est.)
$30.43 billion (2012 est.)
note: data are in 2014 US dollars
* country comparison to the world: 121

GDP (official exchange rate):
$16.3 billion (2014 est.)

GDP – real growth rate:
4.4% (2014 est.)
5.9% (2013 est.)
4.3% (2012 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 63

GDP – per capita (PPP):
$16,000 (2014 est.)
$15,500 (2013 est.)
$14,800 (2012 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
* country comparison to the world: 99

Gross national saving:
37.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
44.2% of GDP (2013 est.)
34.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 13

GDP – composition, by end use:
household consumption: 49.8%
government consumption: 18.9%
investment in fixed capital: 32.2%
investment in inventories: 1.7%
exports of goods and services: 51.3%
imports of goods and services: -53.9%
(2014 est.)

GDP – composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 1.9%
industry: 28.7%
services: 69.4% (2014 est.)

Agriculture – products:
livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts

Industries:
diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver; livestock processing; textiles

Industrial production growth rate:
5.3% (2014 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 49

Labor force:
1.017 million (2014 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 144

Labor force – by occupation:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Unemployment rate:
17.8% (2009 est.)
7.5% (2007 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 157

Population below poverty line:
30.3% (2003)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Distribution of family income – Gini index:
63 (1993)
* country comparison to the world: 3

Budget:
revenues: $5.442 billion
expenditures: $5.164 billion (2014 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
33.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 74

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
1.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 16

Public debt:
17.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
19.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 143

Fiscal year:
1 April – 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.6% (2014 est.)
5.9% (2013 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
7.5% (31 December 2014)
7.5% (31 December 2013)
* country comparison to the world: 42

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
9% (31 December 2014 est.)
10.19% (31 December 2013 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 101

Stock of narrow money:
$1.465 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.435 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 143

Stock of broad money:
$8.293 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$7.635 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111

Stock of domestic credit:
$2.069 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.852 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 139

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$4.588 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$4.107 billion (31 December 2011)
$4.076 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 87

Current account balance:
$1.348 billion (2014 est.)
$1.535 billion (2013 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 44

Exports:
$7.477 billion (2014 est.)
$7.603 billion (2013 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 103

Exports – commodities:
diamonds, copper, nickel, soda ash, meat, textiles

Imports:
$7.141 billion (2014 est.)
$7.362 billion (2013 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 115

Imports – commodities:
foodstuffs, machinery, electrical goods, transport equipment, textiles, fuel and petroleum products, wood and paper products, metal and metal products

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$8.885 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$7.726 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78

Debt – external:
$2.505 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$2.461 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
* country comparison to the world: 143

Exchange rates:
pulas (BWP) per US dollar –
9.19 (2014 est.)
8.3989 (2013 est.)
7.62 (2012 est.)
6.8382 (2011 est.)
6.7936 (2010 est.)

Location:
Southern Africa, north of South Africa

Geographic coordinates:
22 00 S, 24 00 E

Map references:
Africa

Area:
total: 581,730 sq km
land: 566,730 sq km
water: 15,000 sq km
* country comparison to the world: 48

Area – comparative:
slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries:
total: 4,347.15 km
border countries (4): Namibia 1,544 km, South Africa 1,969 km, Zambia 0.15 km, Zimbabwe 834 km

Coastline:
0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)

Climate:
semiarid; warm winters and hot summers

Terrain:
predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland; Kalahari Desert in southwest

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers 513 m
highest point: Tsodilo Hills 1,489 m

Natural resources:
diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver

Land use:
arable land: 0.5%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.49% (2012 est.)

Irrigated land:
14.39 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
12.24 cu km (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.19 cu km/yr (42%/19%/39%)
per capita: 107.3 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards:
periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility
Environment – current issues:
overgrazing; desertification; limited freshwater resources
Environment – international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography – note:
landlocked; population concentrated in eastern part of the country

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Ms. Rapelang MojaphokoDeputy Permanent Secretary +267 3914955
Mr. Jimmy OpeloDirector of Environmentjopelo@gov.bw+267 393 4483
Mr. Moabi MmolawaPrincipal Environmental Engineermdmmolawa@gov.bw+267 393 4479
Dr. Simon MwaleSenior Programme Managersmwale@sadc.int+267 3951863
Mr. Saidy MotladiilePrincipal Chemistsmotladiile@gov.bw+267 393 4479
Mr. Daniel KgajeSenior Environmental Engineerdkgaje@gov.bw +267 393 4479
Ms. Unaswi MatebuWaste Management Officerumatebu@gov.bw +267 393 4479